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  • Friday, September 30, 2022 9:43 AM | Michael Kelberer (Administrator)

    You'll find all 11 of them in our Dharma Talk Library under Buddhist Psychology.

  • Tuesday, September 27, 2022 7:56 AM | Michael Kelberer (Administrator)

    Prior to the retreat, registrants are furnished with a letter-writing packet to print out before the retreat. Registrants buy their own envelopes and stamps. 

    “We’ve been averaging 50 or more people on Zoom for these retreats. It’s socially engaged Buddhism in action!” - Bob Andrew’s, RCZC


  • Monday, September 26, 2022 11:54 AM | Michael Kelberer (Administrator)

    When, while on your Buddhist journey, you run across quotes, pictures, new facts, old facts that strike you anew, books, snippets of dharma, dharma talks, articles, or any form of "found" wisdom, please share it with the sangha. 

    The Bending Bough newsletter is looking for member contributions, two of which were in our last issue. Just email what tickled your fancy to news@redcedarzen.org along with any attributions, and we'll include them as we can.


    Your friendly newsletter editor

  • Wednesday, September 21, 2022 8:29 AM | Michael Kelberer (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, September 14,speeches, musical performances and prayers were offered during the blessing ceremony for the totem pole carved by members of the Lummi Nation’s House of Tears Carvers. This story pole, dedicated to Chief Tsilixw, accompanied by two of his house poles, then travelled to Pittsburgh PA for an international Clean Air symposium. At the symposium and along the way they were a focus for public gatherings and conversations about clean energy use, salmon health, orcas and the removal of the Snake River dams.

    Swil Kanim, beloved Lummi violinist and storyteller, served as host for the celebration. At one point he invited “his brother of a different mother,” Jeff McKenna, to share a song from his Native heritage, one that came to Jeff in a dream. After slowly making his way to the stage, Jeff’s strong voice truly inspired as it carried far and never wavered. Swil Kanim and Jeff drummed and sang together 7 verses representing all the elements that must come together for a truly sacred gathering, including music, dance, art, earth, sky, water, love. All these elements and many more were gathered, and there were tears in many eyes.

    Among the spiritual leaders offering blessings for the journey to was our guiding teacher Nomon Tim Burnett, who invoked Jizo Bodhisattva, the protector of children, teachers, andtravelers:

    Jizo Bodhisattva – Earth Store Bodhisattva – great being who cares for the earth and for all of the beings on the earth:

    Help us to heal this Earth. This Earth we love. This Earth we’ve neglected. This Earth we can so easily forget. Help us to remember. Help us to know that we are the Earth. Help release us from this illusion of our separateness.

    Jizo Bodhisattva – protector of travelers - protect this totem, protect Chief Tsilixw and his protectors as they travel these lands. Protect them as they teach, protect them as they learn. Protect them as they embrace what is right, protect them as they resist what is wrong.

    Jizo Bodhisattva – protector of children – help us all remember that everything we do here is for our children, and their children, and their children’s children’s children. May the benefit of this strong clear effort to bring light move through the generations. 

    Jizo Bodhisattva we call on you with your sacred sounds mantra:


    Jizo Bodhisattva we call on you also in silence, in the pause between all sounds, in the deep peace of non-doing, in the intimacy of not-knowing. 


    Thank you Jizo Bodhisattva, thank you House of Tears carvers, thank you to the Lummi Nation for taking care of our lands and waters, thank you to the Bellingham community. Thank you to all beings in all directions in the three times.

    While chanting the Jizo mantra, Tim played the mokugyo, a small handheld Japanese drum, and his words and the mantra reflected and expressed all the blessings, chanting, and drumming of the afternoon.

    The Lummi House of Tears carvers have been creating and sharing memorial totem poles with the world since 9/11, and before. The launching of the next journey, whenever it may happen, is not to be missed. 

    Post submitted by Karen McMains of RCZC. Thanks to the Lummi Nation, Tim Burnett and Kate McKenna respectively for the photos.

  • Monday, September 19, 2022 9:12 AM | Michael Kelberer (Administrator)

    In the most recent Bending Bough, RCZC Board President Joden Bob Rose gives us the following update on our new Zendo:

    New Zendo Update: Open House, Open Minds, Open Walls

    On Sunday, August 21, a lovely, sunny summer day, about 60 sangha members, friends, and fellow students of the Buddha’s way, enjoyed home-made cookies and refreshments as we toured our recently acquired home at 2509 Cedarwood. 

    Red Cedar Zen Community’s good fortunes were emphasized as we realized the harmony of our name and our new address. That coincidence was further emphasized by the location – a new base for our Mountains and Rivers walking tradition that can now be realized by stepping out the front door, walking a few feet west, and accessing the Sea to Sky trail with Little Squalicum Beach Park little more than a mile away. In fact, our south property line is the trail that will soon link to Cornwall Park and beyond. How propitious.

    Comments from our guests were uniformly positive and excited. “Great space,” “so big,” “lots of possibilities,” “what a nice building.” After a year-and-a -half of searching, it really looks like we have secured a structure that meets nearly all of our needs as laid out in the criteria that guided the SCORE committee’s search. Now the work begins to define how we can best organize and use this space to meet our sangha’s needs while responsibly using the funds we raised to re-model and upgrade the facility.

    The RCZC board has appointed a “Design Committee” (Bob Rose, Bob Penny, Heidi Epstein, Robin Kucklick, and Mark Flamer) to assess the interior and exterior features and evaluate how to best organize and use “what the building offers us.” The committee has met twice since the property was officially acquired on August 15. We now understand its basic structure and are in the initial stage of developing conceptual alternatives for creating a logical flow of ritual and accessible spaces for our sangha and for other interested groups. 

    Those spaces include: a dedicated zendo; dokusan/teacher’s room; library; kitchen; bathrooms; entry closets for coats and shoes; flexible space for sangha programs and rental use by other groups; and storage. Once determined, those conceptual plans will be presented to the senior students’ group to assure that appropriate space and connectivity are provided for ceremonial activities. The board will then review the committee’s proposal or proposals and offer them to the sangha for your comments, suggestions, and perspectives.

    Upon the board confirming a basic “concept design,” the Design Committee will engage the services of a compatible licensed and bonded contractor (with board approval) to prepare more detailed architectural drawings for submission to the City of Bellingham. We purchased a commercial office building which will be re-purposed to a “public religious gathering” space. This requires submitting an application for a “change in use” permit with review by the fire marshal to ensure public safety standards are fully met. 

    The design process, engaging a contractor, city plan review and approval, and the remodeling work (demolition, construction, flooring, finish carpentry, painting, etc.) will take some time to reach completion. As this process and timeline become more clear, subsequent newsletter articles will provide a more specific schedule. In the meantime, based on the inspection report and our follow-up investigations, a new roof will be installed in early October, before the first big rains. This work will be done in conjunction with replacing the obsolete roof-top heater unit and re-routing of the interior ventilation system. As we are fond of saying, the board’s job is to provide a roof and a warm space for practice. First things first.

    If you have any questions about how this process is proceeding or have skills or knowledge that might assist our work, please contact board president Bob Rose (boardpresident@gmail.com).

    – Joden Bob Rose

  • Saturday, September 17, 2022 7:35 AM | Michael Kelberer (Administrator)

    From the Membership Committee

    Members helping members:  A group of volunteers who can offer things to sangha members in need, like:

    • Transportation to medical appointments
    • Shopping
    • Light chores
    • Meals 

    Members needing a hand: If you are in need of assistance, the sangha may be able to help. Your privacy will be respected. 

    If you are able to give OR need to receive support, please contact membership@redcedarzen.org.

  • Monday, September 12, 2022 4:04 PM | Michael Kelberer (Administrator)

    "We have to do this because it's our lifeline of our people. 

    The water is our lifeline. The land is our lifeline. The air is our lifeline” 

    ~Chief Bill Tsi’li'xw James

    On September 14, 2022 from 3-6 pm at the Port of Bellingham property (Granary Building) on Granary Ave in Bellingham, Lummi House of Tears Carvers has requested a Blessing Ceremony for a Totem Pole that will be traveling to the 2022 Global Clean Energy Justice Convergence being held in Pittsburgh, PA later in the month. 

    Here's the current schedule for the event:

    3-4 pm Visiting with the Carvers and the Totem Pole

    4-5 pm Music with Dana Lyons and Swil Kanim and others

    5:00 pm Guest Speakers

    5:40 pm Blessings

    BUF/Interfaith Choir

    Sikh Temple Priests

    Nomon Tim

    Rev. Paul


    Rev. Seth (maybe)

    More information on the Totem Pole Journey

    The House of Tears Carvers will embark on the Totem Pole Journey to the Clean Energy Justice Convergence which will be held in Pittsburgh, PA, September 21-23.  The Convergence is a response to the September 2022 Global Clean Energy Ministerial hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy in Pittsburgh, PA also held during that time.  The Clean Energy Ministerial brings together the world’s largest and leading countries, international organizations and companies to work on accelerating clean energy transitions.  

    Download Flyer for the Journey

  • Tuesday, August 23, 2022 9:18 AM | Michael Kelberer (Administrator)

    From ElectionRetreat.org:

    Hello Ballot Bodhisattvas

    Yesterday about 50 of us came together in communion and action - sending out about a thousand letters to Nevada voters.  We are offering four more retreats before the election; our retreats include meditation, a dharma talk, and companionship while we write our letters to democrati- leaning voters in Nevada. 

    Please join us at our next retreat on September 11.
    Retreats are held from 10:00 – 1:00 Pacific time (11-2 Mountain, noon-3 Central, 1-4 Eastern).

    Our Speaker Roshi Joan

    Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D. is a Buddhist teacher, Founder and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  • Thursday, August 18, 2022 8:26 AM | Michael Kelberer (Administrator)

    The Red Cedar Zen Community Has a New Home

    On Monday, August 15 at 5 PM, RCZC Board president Joden Bob Rose received the keys for the building 2509 Cedarwood Avenue. 

    After nearly two years of probing every corner of Bellingham during an intense and dynamic real estate market, a building that met nearly all of our search criteria became unexpectedly available.  Of interest a few months earlier, we believed it had sold.  But that sale fell through and by a series of remarkable circumstances, our offer was accepted in early July.  Now that this purchase has been recorded, Our Journey Home can pause as a new era of settling and care begins for our sangha.  

    And, if you are available, Please join us on Sunday from 1-3 PM for an Open House with light refreshments.  

    A few brief facts to note:

    • Purchase price was $775,000 with the seller holding a Promissory Note on a balance of $620,000.    
    • The two-story 3,550 sq. ft. building is about 40 years old with a front lawn area that can be enclosed as private garden space.  It has been a CPA office for the past 35 years.
    • The ground floor is about 2100 sq. ft. and the upstairs about 1450 sq. ft. 
    • Two ADA bathrooms on the ground floor 
    • The lower east wing office is occupied by an accounting firm that wants to expand its office and occupy the entire top floor.  This will provide a steady rental income to offset some of our projected monthly obligation.
    • The Green Line #50 bus from downtown stops 1 block away on Northwest Avenue.
    • It has a paved parking lot .
    • Access to the Squalicum Beach and Bay to Baker Trail is a minute from the front door.
    • Easy driving access from I-5 from either the Northwest Avenue or Meridian exit.

    What’s Next?

    • The Board has appointed a Design Committee (Bob Rose, Heidi Epstein, Bob Penny, and Robin Kucklick) to evaluate the current interior and exterior configurations.  The committee will make recommendations to the board about how to best arrange the available spaces to meet sangha needs: Zendo, dokusan rooms, library, cooking  and dining facilities, office space and classrooms.   
    • Develop a schedule of meetings to receive sangha input and review the possible ways to address our integrated set of needs, considering our available budget and best use of sangha resources. 
    • From that evaluation develop a proposal (with architectural and engineering support) to submit to the city for a change in use permit to make this office building into a religious gathering space with appropriate fire and emergency safety measures.
    • Engage a contractor to build out the board- approved improvements/ modifications  
    • Provide opportunities for sangha members to offer labor dana to create our agreed upon vision of this consecrated space

    Note: If you can’t make the open house, you can see pictures of the building here   https://www.loopnet.com/Listing/2509-Cedarwood-Ave-Bellingham-WA/25754442/

  • Friday, August 12, 2022 5:47 AM | Nomon Tim Burnett (Administrator)

    I'm excited to have virtual visit by Bakurin Judith Ragir from the Clouds and Water Zen Center in Minneapolis. Judith will be give the talk on at our weekly Thursday evening practice about her new book Untangling Karma: Intimate Zen Stories on Healing Trauma.

    Judith is Eko Jeff Kelley's teacher and someone I've been looking forward to learning with for some time. Below is a note from noted Zen writing teacher Natalie Goldberg about her book.

    Please join us in person at BUF or online on Zoom. 

    -Nomon Tim

    “Judith Ragir, a Zen teacher, a mom, a Jew, a sexual assault survivor, splits open her heart and fearlessly pours out the hate, internalized anti-Semitism, and unquestioned rule-following that blocks her love. This book is at once a love letter to Zen practice and a critique of late twentieth century American Zen. Judith inspires us to investigate our own karmic knots, and in the middle of this suffering, she invites us to walk quietly down the backyard steps to the neighborhood pond and take a cooling dip in the moonlight.” —Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the BonesLong Quiet HighwayThree Simple Lines, and many other books

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